Archive for February 21st, 2013

Call in sick to work tomorrow for the start of Path of Exile season one

, | Games


One of the unique features of Path of Exile is leagues. When you create a character in Grinding Gears Games’ action RPG, you select your character’s league. Currently, there are default and hardcore leagues. Default is default. Hardcore means you get one life. If you die, your character suffers a fate worse than death; she is kicked downstairs to the default league. Oh, the ignominy!

However, as of tomorrow morning, Grinding Gear Games will offer additional leagues. 109 of them, to be exact. It’s the start of what they’re calling “season one”. This is a series of temporary leagues. They’re events, really, over the next month and a half, starting with a one-hour solo play league tomorrow morning at 9am Pacific. This means you start a new character and play solo for an hour to get as far as you can. Then your character is demoted to one of the permanent leagues and your account is credited with prize points based on how you ranked, whether you were first to clear a quest, what level you reached, and so forth (scoring for S01E01 — season one, event one — is listed here). Other leagues last varying amounts of time, they allow grouping, or they have superfast turbo speed monsters. You can click on upcoming leagues in the schedule for specifics.

So what’s the point? Prize points are the point. As you accumulate prize points, you work your way up a list of unique items, available only this season and listed on the season page. Maybe I can get Redbeak, a fast, hard-hitting, life-sucking sword that does more damage when you’re hurt. Could I possibly get Wanderlust, a pair of speedy, mana-charging, wool shoes that make you immune to freezing. I’d love to see what the “extra gore” trait does on those Facebreaker gloves. I’m guessing it’s something like Fallout’s “Bloody Mess” perk. But do I like Path of Exile enough to play 240 points worth of league events in the next month?

I’m thinking.

Frankly, given the way the scoring works, I’ll be lucky to have my own Redbeak by the end of season one. But I love that Grinding Gear Games is doing this sort of thing.

The 99 cent Civilization Revolution trick

, | Games


Firaxis has added multiplayer support to Civilization Revolution on the iPad. What a great idea! I enjoyed it on the Xbox 360 when it came out, and then I bought it on the iPhone before I had my iPad. Bad AI doesn’t seem so stupid when it’s on an iPhone. How smart can a game be on such a tiny screen anyway? But I haven’t played Civilization Revolution in a while. Assuming it supports asynchronous play, what a great way to enjoy its sleek boardgameyness.

Since I already own it, I go to download it on my iPad. And I see that a separate iPad version is available for only 99 cents. Okay, it’s worth a look. What else am I going to do with a dollar? I buy it, download it, and tap on the multiplayer option on the main menu to see how it works. Can I challenge my friends? Will it work asynchronously? Can I get away with playing Spain in a multiplayer game and running roughshod over my land-bound friends while I explore the seas and their wonders? And what are these two multiplayer modes listed on the game’s “what’s new” page on iTunes?

Oh, look what’s behind the multiplayer option on the main menu: